Hye Thyme Cafe: Chocolate Farina Bread

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Chocolate Farina Bread

Chocolate Farina Bread : Hye Thyme Cafe

You regulars may have noticed that for some reason, my heart hasn't been in the kitchen lately. I keep having ideas for things I want to try, but then I'm just not in the mood to actually do it. Maybe it's just the heat. As much as I love summer, the heat really does a number on me. Anyhow, thinking I had better post something, this popped into my head last night, and am I glad it did! Oh my!  

It is a very soft bread with a lovely texture and delicious flavor, but it's really the aroma that keeps grabbing me. When I first sliced into it, my mind immediately wandered to the Panettone I love to get from Williams-Sonoma during the holidays. Even washing dishes a few minutes ago, I caught myself sniffing at the air. The rest of the loaf is bagged up and sitting on the counter, and that wonderful aroma was seeping out and drawing me in.

In keeping with the Panettone notion, I can't wait to try this again with some nuts and dried fruit. The only issue I had with this recipe was the limited rise. I'll have to try it again before I know for sure whether that's due to the recipe, something I did, or whether my yeast was on the way out. My first thought was that I had made it in a food processor, not having a stand mixer, and the dough came together so quickly, it didn't get much kneading. Maybe I should have taken it out and kneaded it by hand for a few minutes to really get those proteins going. If that was the case though, I would have expected the final product to be very heavy and dense, which it's not. 

I'm already thinking about toasting a slice and topping it with raspberry jam. Mmmmmmm...

1/2 c water
1/2 c plain yogurt
1 T butter
1 T sugar
1 t salt
1 packet yeast
4 packets Chocolate instant Cream of Wheat (= just shy of 1c)
1 1/2 c flour
2 t pasilla dried chili flakes 
Oil or cooking spray

In a small pot on the stove, or a large measuring cup in the microwave, heat the water, yogurt, butter, sugar, and salt until everything is melted together. Remove from heat and cool to a point where you can comfortably hold your finger in it. Any hotter than that and you risk killing the yeast.

Sprinkle the yeast into the bowl of your food processor (make sure you're using the dough blade) or stand mixer and pour the warm liquid over it. Let sit for about 5" to give the yeast a chance to bloom.

Mix in the Cream of Wheat, then the flour and chilies, a little at a time. If using a stand mixer, let knead for 5-8" until glossy and smooth. If using a food processor, pulse until it comes together in a ball. As mentioned above, you might want to knead it by hand a few times as well. If you keep running the processor, it will just be spinning above the blade.

Lightly spray or oil a bowl, turn the dough in the bowl to coat, then cover and let rise for 45" to 1'. I always tuck mine away in the oven, out of any possible breeze.

Punch down the dough, form it into a ball and transfer to a lightly sprayed pie plate, parchment-lined tray, baking stone - whatever you're comfortable with. Let rest for 20" or so.

Bake at 375° for 35-40". Cool completely before slicing.

Chocolate Farina Bread : Hye Thyme Cafe

Chocolate Farina Bread : Hye Thyme Cafe

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